I’m subscribed to a newsletter called zenhabits and the most recent edition really sparked my interest because of its timeliness. Yesterday for some reason I thought a lot about fear and how it affects our daily lives, decision making and how we can miss out on so much if we let it get the best of us. Then, as if God himself told the folks over at zenhabits to write something to help me sort out my thoughts…there the newsletter was in my inbox.
I’m not gonna lie, fear has gotten the best of me a lot in my young life. Basically everything I regret boils down to a decision I made out of fear that I was going to lose something, lose someone, fail, hurt myself, hurt someone else and the list goes on. In fact, if I’m really honest…fear has been somewhat a dominant force in my life. And I bet I’m not the only one.
You know you should exercise. You know you should move to another area to have a better chance of getting that dream job you’ve always wanted. You know you should spend a lot less time on social media. You know you should quit smoking or stop going to the club every time the doors open.
It’s not that you don’t KNOW. You just don’t DO. (myself included) When there are things that we know we should do, instead of doing them we:
- talk about them a lot or avoid talking about them altogether
- save the task of actually doing it for tomorrow (that never comes by the way)
- feel bad about not doing it so we start talking about how much we’re going to do it again
Why don’t you exercise? You’re afraid you may not lose any weight because you may not be ready to make the total life change getting healthier requires.
Why don’t you talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend about the issues between you all? You’re afraid of being seen as weak or vulnerable. You’re afraid of actually falling in love and giving your all to someone.
Why won’t you move away to a new city to pursue your dreams? You’re afraid that you may fail and have to come back home. You don’t want to be the laugh of the town.
When we’re afraid of doing something, instead of acknowledging that fear we come up with all types of excuses in our heads to help us feel more comfortable with being a coward. But to start doing things in life that we know will make us better or happier in the end, we have to win the fight against fear.
To win the fight we have to:
- Acknowledge that we have fears. Everyone does, it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
- Figure out why we are fearful of certain things and write it down/ put in our phones. Making a list is more powerful than most people think. It gives you accountability.
- Make steps to doing the things we want to do in life. Don’t just say you’re going to stop spending so much time on Twitter. Resist the urge to open the app, even as and when you’re sitting there with nothing to do. Read a book or watch videos on YouTube.
We don’t have to live in fear or let it be the dominating force in our lives. We can get over those scary things and life and live each day and moment to the fullest.
Has fear kept you from doing something in life? What are you afraid of?